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Behind the Scenes with CAB VP Emma Simpson ’23

May 15, 2023
Emma Simpson and YG

Written By: Emma Simpson '23

I’ve had an eventful few years as Vice President of York College’s Campus Activities Board (CAB).

CAB is a student-led organization whose main responsibility is promoting free activities for students on weekends to ensure there is never a dull moment at York College! We host a variety of casual events such as craft nights, bingo, trivia, open mic nights, and other YCP traditions like Fall Fest, the annual Spring Concert, Pride Week, and Stressbusters.

Becoming part of CAB during my first year at York College sparked my love for event planning. In my second year at YCP, with encouragement from friends, I ran for and was elected Vice President of CAB, and again for both my third and fourth years. The VP of CAB is a Student Senate executive board position. The person is elected by the entire campus and is responsible for managing seven other CAB e-board chairs and CAB members. As the first VP of CAB post-COVID-19, I had the opportunity to continue old traditions as well as start new ones. 

A big challenge I faced coming out of COVID-19 was the same one most organizations struggled with: participation. Working with the executive board to implement new policies like free giveaways and raffles at most events tripled the attendance of campus events from about 35 students to around 100 students. Bringing back larger events like Fright Fest and making that a tradition also encouraged students to come out to CAB events. Students who have fun at one event will have fun at others!

One of my favorite duties as VP of CAB was getting to help coordinate Fright Fest. This event required a lot of work with Lora Snyder in the Office of Student Affairs, Campus Safety, and several clubs and organizations on campus to bring Beard Hall to life as a haunted house and create a Halloween-themed carnival outside. This event took a lot of work coordinating CAB members to help work the event, getting vendors booked and, of course, deciding how to decorate our rooms in the haunted house. All the hard work to make this event possible definitely paid off when Fright Fest won Best Event in the Region from the Association for Promotion of Campus Activities in the fall of 2022.

CAB’s goal is to host a variety of different events so that there is something for everyone. We love getting event suggestions to our Instagram and Facebook (@ycp_cab) so we can plan what students would like to see. We also co-sponsor events with other YCP clubs and organizations, and every semester a select group of CAB members attends a conference to learn about planning activities and events that we could bring to campus. This helps us ensure that we keep giving YCP students a variety of events.

Choosing prizes is another difficult part of our job; many students might think this would be super fun, but it can have its challenges. It can be difficult to gauge what to get as prizes because it is challenging to predict what prize winners will like as individuals. Sometimes we theme them to match events, and at other times it can just be something that was suggested by CAB members or the student body. Another challenge is that we are now trying to avoid giving out gift cards as prizes because they are being considered tax-deductible, so winners of gift cards would have to fill out a W-9 Tax Form in order to receive their prize. However, we are working to continue to give students prizes that they will enjoy, such as LEGOS and Squishmallows.

CAB is required to hold at least three events a week. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as during the week of our concert. But for the most part, there should be at least three. Our event ideas, prizes, and budgets have to get approved by Tamah Miller, the CAB advisor. Our weekend events are typically held in the evening to give students the opportunity to use their day however they’d like and then enjoy a CAB event afterward. Our event times come down to when performers are available, although we try to keep event times consistent, so the student body isn’t guessing every weekend. We also try to rotate our events so there is an even distribution of the types of events we hold, and we avoid a whole month of all bingo and no trivia.

My journey to becoming the Vice President has helped me gain invaluable experience for my Human Resource Management degree. Between managing 40 members, seven other executive board members, events with over 400 people, two social media accounts, and one professional email, this position has been an amazing journey and has given me great experience in the workforce that will definitely help me in my career.